On Wednesday 26th, 2013 a historic action was finally taken by the Supreme Court of America. They overturned the Defence of Marriage Act or DOMA. DOMA, which was signed in to law on September 21, 1996 by President Bill Clinton, restricted federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples and allowed states that don’t allow same-sex marriage to not recognise marriages performed in other states. This law meant that legally married same-sex couples did not have the same rights as heterosexual couples. Since signing the act into law, Bill Clinton changed his position on DOMA and has worked towards its repeal.
While I understand that this decision is an important step forward for same-sex couples, and indeed, for all people, I can’t help but feel that it’s a pretty small step. The repeal of DOMA still doesn’t make same-sex marriage legal in every state. That is still up to the individual states to decide. If the Supreme Court really wanted to make a historic decision, it could pass a law that all humans have the same rights across the board. Why should some people only be allowed to marry in certain states? Why is love legislated for by the government? Surely that’s not what the government is for?
When people of all sexual persuasions and genders have the same rights, locally and federally, then I will celebrate. What happened on the 26th June, 2013 is certainly a victory, but a small one at that.